Former Gorey Rugby Football club player George Hadden gave a huge scrummaging masterclass for Ireland Under-20’s vs France Under-20’s at a packed out Musgrave Park on Friday night….
While his all-round game was excellent despite his harsh yellow card in the second half it was the close-quarters battle where the Gorey Rfc man really shone through in an epic encounter with Ireland snatching a late win win a penalty goal from mercurial Out-Half, Kildare man Sam Prendergast.
George was again given the responsibility of sending the message of Lineout calls, and these calls seemed bang on all game.
His lineout lifts are really top-class, with his strength sending the Irish locks up high to claim crucial possession. Following on from his demolition job of the Welsh scrum last week, Hadden set his sight on a much fancied French 20’s scrum and put his opposition tighthead under serious pressure in the first scrum encounter using his low centre of gravity and firm frame to good use. The Gorey Rfc man provided great rucking technique throughout the game ensuring quick ball for scrum-half Fintan Gunn.
George provided fantastic play-making skills of the modern prop later with a beautiful pass to his No.10 to provide space out wide and set up a fine attack down the left wing. Midway through the first half, the nippy French Fullback, like all dangerous French Fullbacks, set off across the field looking for a hole, which Hadden dully shut with a tremendous crucial covering tackle. He continued with the basics providing solid ruck ball.
The prop was up to his usual tricks again this time earning a well-deserved scrum penalty after smashing the French scrum to bits.
Now, this is what I want to see George at, as a few minutes later he made a lovely big 10-metre bust up the middle, carrying the ball hard into contact after he darted through a gap. The Gorey Rfc man then pulverised the French scrum into submission a while later, earning a massive scrum penalty.
He finished out the half with two good tackles and a good scrum.
The second half was to prove unkind to Hadden.
After starting off brightly with a good tackle and a brilliant mop-up of loose untidy Irish ball in a crucial part of the pitch after a lovely lineout steal by the Irish second-row things started to go astray for the young man. Following an important tackle from George, the Irish gave two penalty
Advantages to the French and unfortunately the Gorey Rfc man strayed a little offside for a tackle in the twenty-two. It wasn’t a try-saving tackle or anywhere near the line by the finicky New Zealand ref and all-round annoyingly law-abiding citizen picked out Hadden for repeated offences by the Irish team and binned him.
France took advantage as another Irish player walked the line for 10 mins and got back into the game. George came back on for the last 10 and made a good tackle and carry. With France ahead in the last few minutes, they needlessly gave away a cheap penalty and up-stepped a cool Prendergast to slot the winner.
Hadden is performing really well and is in line to start against Italy in the next game. We look forward to more serious workouts by the young Gorey Rfc man. He’s a joy to watch for the scrum purists.
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